FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2020
Reform Movement Denounces Senate’s Confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON - In response to the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
The Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court is a blow to the health of our democracy and a threat to the rights we have fought for over generations, including universal health care, reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, and beyond. By rushing through this confirmation in the closing days of the election when millions of Americans have already voted, Senators and the White House have shamefully disregarded the voices and views of their own constituents.
Justice Barrett’s many accomplishments as an academic and on the federal bench do not mean that she should be seated for life on the nation’s highest court. Just days after taking her Supreme Court seat, Justice Barrett will hear oral arguments in Texas v U.S., challenging the legality of the Affordable Care Act. Having criticized Justice Roberts’s 2012 vote to uphold the ACA, Justice Barrett may well now get to cast the decisive vote to end it, with up to 20 million Americans losing their health insurance during a pandemic as a result. We pray for and with all those Americans worrying about how they will choose between food and health care and wondering whether their pre-existing conditions, which may include COVID-19, will lead insurance companies to deny them care, absent the ACA prohibiting such denials.
Our Reform Movement 2020 nonpartisan civic engagement campaign, Every Voice, Every Vote, is premised on the notion that our democracy is strongest when everyone participates. In this last week of voting, we urge all Americans to make their views and values known at the ballot box, and in so doing send a clear message to the presidential candidates who will nominate the next Supreme Court justices and the Senators who will vote on confirming them.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.